Lay down the weapon of good intention

A few years ago, my partner and I were invited to speak with a small group of white Catholic North Americans visiting Bolivia. My partner, from Bolivia, was asked to speak briefly with the group about Andean spirituality, and I was asked to translate his words from Spanish to English. (I am sharing this storyContinue reading “Lay down the weapon of good intention”

Freedom songs

Selma has been on my mind lately. With the passing of John Lewis, my social media feed has been flooded with photos of him standing at the foot of the Edmund Pettus Bridge, stories of his constant bravery and even videos of him dancing or crowd surfing. We have lost a legend. And my mindContinue reading “Freedom songs”

Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement

In the June burst of green and sunshine, I am taking a bike ride through the historically black neighborhood where I live in Chicago. Along the way, I encounter a heron and a flock of geese; I see wrappers and plastic bags littering the sidewalks, discarded in the gutters. I smell freshly-cut grass and waveContinue reading “Sorrow and Joy during the Black Lives Matter movement”

This Advent, may we make room

Months ago, while my mind and heart were whirling after moving from rural Wisconsin to Chicago, I attempted to run a simple and quick errand: buy some shampoo. Another sister went with me, and we carried along a short list of things we needed for our new household. At the store, we found little ofContinue reading “This Advent, may we make room”

Openness to the mystery of other people

Gazing toward the brightly lit horizon the other day, I noticed an expansiveness, an opening. Beyond what I could see was a mystery. Bigger than the dances of shadows and light, the frozen November snow and the clouds hanging out their hues of pink and gray, was the power of possibility, the rise of potential.Continue reading “Openness to the mystery of other people”

The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living

I’ve been wondering: is anything ever totally new? Some say that every seven years we have new bodies — all new cells. The saying, though, is a myth: brain cells aren’t replaced; we keep them our entire lifetimes. No matter what’s new, and no matter what’s familiar, when our world shifts and moves, how do weContinue reading “The familiar, the new and discernment for daily living”

Strength in weakness

But he said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.  — 2 Corinthians 12:9 Lent is a time I focus on my weaknesses. I don’tContinue reading “Strength in weakness”

Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis

It’s indisputable that today’s signs of the times point to heartache, injustice, division and confusion. The truth seems to be debatable. The persecutions of the little ones — from immigrant children, refugees, victims of natural disasters and targets of sexual assault; those who are on the margins — often are the ones who bear theContinue reading “Christian resistance in the style of St. Francis”

Praying with the power of paradox

I am on the shore of the Mississippi River. I can’t see into the water in this light. I can’t see the bottom of the river, or much more than the movement of the surface and the reflection of sky bright upon the ripples and waves. I know something of this body of water, itsContinue reading “Praying with the power of paradox”